The use of lead-based paint in new housing has been against the law across the United States for decades. However, millions of apartment buildings and homes that were built before 1978 may still contain lead paint. For this reason, state and federal governments — including the government of California — have passed laws to protect renters against the health hazards that may be caused by having lead-based paint in one’s home. While these laws do not require lead-based paint be removed from a home or apartment, they do mandate that a landlord or seller provide written disclosures regarding any lead-based paint located on the property, and to properly abate lead-based paint if a landlord is notified by a code enforcement agent about the need to remove lead-based paint from a rental unit.
If you or your loved ones have suffered from lead poisoning and you suspect paint on your rental property could be to blame, come to HBK Lawyers APC. Our Glendale tenant rights lawyer is here to stand up for you after your landlord or property controller has unfairly kept information about lead paint from you. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
Lead-Based Paint Hazards in the Home
While lead-based paint is considered safe when it is in good condition, it becomes dangerously toxic as it breaks down. Lead-based paint can peel, chip, or disintegrate. Individuals who live in rooms with lead-based paint can suffer from lead poisoning through ingestion, which may happen by breathing in dust or scratching off paint chips and eating them, as young children often do.
Lead poisoning can cause:
- Memory loss
- Chronic headaches
- Bodily pain
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Kidney damage
Learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders are often associated with exposure to toxic levels of lead. Although, exposure to lead-based paint is even more toxic to young children and pregnant women, exposure to lead-based paint is dangerous to all persons, regardless of age. Unborn babies can also suffer birth defects as a result of continued exposure and lead poisoning.
In California, and other states across the country, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require that a landlord provide written notice to a potential tenant if the residential unit contains lead. A landlord must not only disclose the presence of lead-based paint or hazards but also their locations on the property, including any common areas.
In addition to having a legal duty to disclose of known risks, California landlords also have a legal duty to mitigate a tenant’s exposure to lead in other scenarios. This includes when renovations to a property built before 1978 are done. In cases where the property is built before 1978, the landlord must use a contractor who is certified in lead-based paint removal. California and federal law expressly grant a private right of action for a party injured by lead poisoning and imposes liability on the landlord for damages suffered for the knowing violation of these laws.
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